Billy Beach, 90 of Shelbyville, Indiana passed away on Saturday, July 14, 2012, at Waldron Health and Rehabilitation Facility in Waldron, Indiana. Billy was born August 2, 1921 in Oatsville, Indiana, the son of James and Hazel Beach. He graduated from Mt. Olympus High School, Pike County, in 1938 and then went on to obtain his B. S. Degree in 1942 from Purdue University and his M.S. degree in Agriculture from Purdue University in 1961. He was married to Lela Mae McCallister for 46 years who preceded him in death in 1992. He remarried Jeffie Wynn of Largo, FL.
Billy worked most of his life educating others. He taught high school agriculture at Spurgeon and Mt. Olympus High Schools. He became a 4-H Youth Agent in Sullivan County, then was an Extension Educator in Perry and Parke Counties. He also served as a Community Development Specialist for SW Indiana. He also was a professor at Vincennes University.
Beach served has President of the Indiana County Agents Association, National President of the Community Development Society, President of the Sullivan Lions Club, President of the Cannelton Kiwanis Club. He was a member of the John Purdue Club, the First United Methodist Church, Purdue Ag Alumni Association, Tampa Bay Purdue Alumni Club and the Pinellas County Indiana Club.
Mr. Beach was distinguished in many areas of his life. He received "The Superior Service Award" from the U.S. Department of Agriculture; was named an Admiral in the State of Nebraska Navy for his Community Development work; was made a lifetime Honorary Alumni of Vincennes University for his community service; was a co-founder of the Parke County Covered Bridge Festival and Maple Syrup Festival; he helped begin Indiana's first consolidated school system; was given the "Frederick L. Hovde" award of Excellence in Educational Service; and in 1985 was named a "Sagamore of the Wabash" by Governor Robert D. Orr.
Billy enjoyed attending Purdue football games where he attended 63 consecutive Homecoming games. He also attended every bowl game Purdue played in.
Survivors include: wife-Jeffie Wynn Beach of Largo, FL; children-Connie (Alan) Maltin of Jupiter, FL, John (Nancy) Beach of Lyons, IN, Tom (Vicki) Beach of Shelbyville, IN and Bonnie (Dennis) Mangalavite of Rochester, IL; 9 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Lela Mae Beach, sister Carol Bowen, and brothers Gordon and Alvin Beach.
A Commemoration of Mr. Beach's Life will be held from 9:00-11:00 am at the First United Methodist Church, 411 N. 4th Street Vincennes, Indiana, on July 19 in Vincennes. A graveside memorial service will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery. Memorial contributions can be made to the Purdue Ag Alumni Association.